The Cost of Handmade
Many artisans start out making handmade goods usually with their love for their individual craft and completely forget to take their time and expertise into account when pricing their items. I have been guilty of this since I started Odds & Soxlets, mainly in fear of people not buying my items and secondly I completely forgot to factor in the amount of time it actually takes me to make an item and then all the admin that goes on behind the scenes before an item can be sent out to a customer let alone other business related costs.
In the past year my whole business has taken a new direction and the demand for my Monstroubles in particular has been very overwhelming. With my daughter about to start nursery in September I have recently been to see a business mentor to discuss how my business is run and where to make changes so that I can can continue to build a successful business to enable me to work from home around both of my children and help to contribute towards putting food on our table and paying the bills!
As a customer you may wonder why the cost of handmade items are so expensive in comparison to what you may find in the high street. Rather than paying for something which is mass produced, you are paying for something unique which has been made with love, care and attention to detail that is usually bespoke and far exceeds what you will ever find on the high street. When calculating prices for handmade goods I always used to calculate the cost of materials and then completely underestimate the sewing time and admin time that goes alongside making my creations. Let alone taking into consideration other business expenses such electricity to power my machines and workspace, heating my workspace, fee’s from selling sites, online payment charges, advertising, social networking, ordering fabrics, toy safety testing and paperwork, researching and designing new products, no paid time off for holidays or illness and so forth the list is endless. For my Memory Makes and my Monstroubles I have been completely undercharging for the past year for the majority of my makes. For many of my previous customers this means you have been very lucky to get your hands on a bargain!
My passion for sewing and making unique creations has always driven me forward however with the ever rising costs of living and trying to run a commercial business I have had to look at all of my makes and make price revisions accordingly. My prices are now a combination of the costs of my materials and hours taken to sew and complete admin in order to send that make to my customer on minimum wage. A few of my monsters have only had a small price increase where as a few others have been increased by up to £10.00. With my memory makes this has meant almost a 50% increase in price as they are extremely time consuming and take a great deal of time and expertise to transform pre-loved clothing into a keepsake that will last forever.
There are many really good articles about how to price handmade items and one in particular is an extract taken from Crafting a Successful Business by Joanne Deberry which you can read here about How to price Handmade Toys.
Thank you so much to each and every person and all of my previous customers for your continued support, it means a great deal to me so that I can continue to do something I love each and every day and to put smiles on little faces.